The Gibson J-160E is probably the most recognizable acoustic-electric guitar in history since John Lennon adopted it as his signature instrument in the early 1960s. While the specs changed constantly over its 25-year original run and several subsequent re-issues, this 2002 J-160E Custom is one of the most famous configurations, with a round-shouldered dreadnought-style body and a single external P-90 pickup. And of course they have all had the huge sound for which vintage Gibsons have been famous for decades, in this case amplified to add even more impact to any performance.

This guitar has serial number 01162058, which pretty reliably indicates it was the 58th guitar made on the 116th day of 2002; this date is reinforced by the Gibson factory sunburst finish. My assumption is that it was part of the Gibson John Lennon “Peace” initiative and thus was considered a “special order” or “custom” model, but I guess the “Custom” designation on the label could be due to some other variation in the specs. It has a Sitka Spruce top with tone and volume control knobs in the lower bout and a single-coil P-90 pickup at the end of the fingerboard, which works well. It also has mahogany back, sides, and neck; a rosewood belly-up bridge; a 15/20-fret bound rosewood finger board with pearl trapezoid inlay; a 24 ¾” scale; a 1.725” nut; and a smaller dark tortoise pick guard. It has full body binding, top and back, with multi-stripe purfling and a multi-stripe rosette. The blackface headstock features a pearl inlaid crown and logo backed by vintage-style open-back gold tuners which really set off the inlay.

Generally, the dramatic sunburst finished top is in very good shape, and the mahogany back and sides show almost no dents and dings. The inlaid pearl trapezoid position markers are gorgeous, and the guitar is in excellent condition. In other words, it is a great Gibson acoustic-electric guitar which is ready to play the hard-driving music for which it was made. I sincerely hope that its next owner is someone who will play it hard, well, and often, no matter how collectible it might be.

The included Gibson hard shell case is almost certainly original, and the exterior with the large “Gibson” printed on it is in great shape. The hardware all works, and the bright blue plush interior fits the shape of this J-160E perfectly. The style, of course, is perfect for this guitar, and it certainly offers more than adequate protection. I suspect that if you plan to play out with this beauty, you will eventually be grateful for a lockable hard shell case, because everybody’s gonna want to play it.

Buyer pays a flat rate of $55 for insurance and shipping to the lower forty-eight states; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. Payment by Paypal is preferred; cashier’s checks are acceptable, but checks must clear before the guitar will be shipped.

I have tried to be perfectly clear and accurate in describing this beautiful instrument, so its return will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing. Please check out the pictures and ask any questions you might have before offering to buy it.

Thank you for your interest in this great Gibson guitar.



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Payments by Paypal, cashier’s checks, money orders, or personal checks are acceptable, but all payments must clear my bank before the guitar will be shipped. I will CONSIDER reasonable offers, even including installment payments and trade-ins, but generally since I already attempt to price my guitars very competitively, unusual deals must be unusually sweet.

From henceforth [that's how retired English teachers talk], insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states is $55 due to constantly rising shipping costs unless a specific listing says otherwise; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. I have sold guitars to Russia, Japan, Australia, and over 50 other countries, as well as almost every state in the USA. Since some of my guitars travel thousands of miles, I take care to use lots of packing materials, protect the neck inside the case, and of course de-tune the strings.

I make every effort to describe and illustrate each guitar and case with scrupulous accuracy. However, many of my instruments are well-played vintage items which are many years old, and I am not a luthier. One should assume that any guitar will require some set-up to satisfy your personal requirements, and that not every flaw or ding will be seen/recognized/described in the listing. Thus the return of an instrument will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing. Please read the listing carefully, check out the pictures, and ask any questions you might have before offering to buy.